14 May, 2021

Back From The Dead

The great Indian AIDS crisis now looks a case of statistical blunders and NGOs weaned on a share of the grants

Back From The Dead
If the oft-repeated prophecy at every international health seminar and countless entries in official directories of global funding and credit agencies in the last few years were anything to go by, India should have long become the aids capital of the world. Thankfully, the predicted hiv holocaust hasn't come true and now experts in the health sector are questioning the arbitrary manner in which figures were arrived at by reputed international agencies. Union health minister C.P. Thakur has even gone on record about the statistical discrepancies: "I am at a loss as to how there can be so many different estimates by different UN agencies."

Officials at unaids, the leading global body fighting hiv, admit to statistical blunders in the past and blame it on human errors committed at its Geneva office. Now, is it a coincidence that the errors seem to be happening too often in India's case? However, the agency promises that these will be rectified. Says Dr David Miller, country programme advisor: "Estimation of figures in recent years has become a very scientifically-based process...

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